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Harry Potter Movie Marathon - The full experience

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Sheilawisz, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    I did watch all of the Harry Potter movies in the theater, but waiting years between the installments would somehow disconnect me from the story. That's why I decided to purchase the complete DVD collection last December, and now I have finally completed what I call The full HP movies experience.

    My intention was to watch the eight movies in a row, one every night, for eight consecutive nights...

    It was not easy because I had to watch them late at night and you know, they are pretty long movies, but I managed to complete it with a lot of help from my dear friend W.Z.

    I wanted to describe my movie marathon in this thread, so here it goes:

    Watching all the movies like this really gave me a different, much better view of the Harry Potter story told in its movie versions. I realize now that all the elements of the story were nicely connected, creating a pretty good storyline even if they did not feature all the material from the books...

    1- Philosopher's Stone: This is the movie that is most loyal to its book. The sweetest and most innocent of the collection, Philosopher's Stone is a perfect beginning for the adventure.

    2- Chamber of Secrets: I did not like this one at all when I watched it in the theater all those years ago, but now I really appreciate it. The funny thing is that Chamber of Secrets is the longest film in the entire series even though the book is not so big, and I believe that they should have edited it a little better.

    3- Prisoner of Azkaban: Great book, but this is my least favorite movie of them all. There was a very drastic change in the style and atmosphere when compared to the first two movies, and even though it has many good moments, those little talking heads drive me crazy.

    4- Goblet of Fire: My favorite, by far. I can watch this one over and over again, unlike most of the others... Goblet of Fire features the most magical atmosphere in the series, and even though it marks the point when the story starts to get really dark, the funny moments make it very enjoyable. I love the dragon, really, I love the dragon... Did I already mention that I love the dragon??

    5- Order of the Phoenix: Terrible book and a bad movie as well, but the movie at least brings us a perfect Luna Lovegood. The battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore is definitely the best part of this one. Very dark movie (I mean, it lacks proper illumination in many scenes!).

    6- Half Blood Prince: My third favorite movie of the series, which features one of the best sequences: Voldemort's lake, they made it so well... I like the mysterious and creepy atmosphere, and the parts about Voldemort's past were very well done. Once again, the movie suffers from poor illumination and this happens as well in the two final installments.

    7- Deathly Hallows - part 1: The movie is a little boring, because it's very busy describing how Voldemort is creating his nazi-style police state and everything. The wedding is very sweet, but apart from that, there are few enjoyable moments in this one.

    8- Deathly Hallows - part 2: This is it! All of the information and events from the first Deathly Hallows finally culminate in the big battle with all of those explosions, monsters, courageous sacrifice and casualties everywhere- On, and the Fiendfyre, I love the Fiendfyre sequence. This was a perfect closure for the series, powerfully emotional and with a strange, bittersweet ending that is much better than the sugar-coated ending in the book.

    That was my experience after completing the HP movie marathon. What about you? Have you watched the eight HP movies in eight days or less? Please share your thoughts =)
     
  2. tlbodine

    tlbodine Troubadour

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    I inflicted the first seven movies on my fiance over the duration of a weekend in preparation for #8 coming to theaters. It was fascinating watching him watch the movies as he'd never read the books or seen any of the films, so he was completely new to all of it.

    I'm one of the only people who really enjoyed the atmosphere of Prisoner of Azkaban. It was different from the books, but tremendous amounts of fun. No complaints from me.

    For my money though, #5 is my favorite book and film both. That also makes me a bit of a rebel ;)
     
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I have seen all the movies and I did it in 3 days [I was stuck at home with nothing to do - okay, don't judge me].
    I liked the first film but after that they all sort of blend together. I think you need a little more than 15 minutes break between films to do them justice.
    Because of this I may not being very fair but I really didn't like the last film. It looked fantastic [they all did] but it felt soulless. I was waiting for the twist.
    I don't want to give spoilers but Neville Longbottom - he really stepped up.
     
  4. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    My family has been watching these films in sequence over the past several weeks. We just finished film #7, and will be watching Deathly Hallows pt. 2 on Saturday.

    My 3 year old daughter loves these movies, although Deathly Hallows pt. 1 lost her attention during the long stretch of teenagers camping with a horcrux. Once Dobby showed up again, she got interested.

    My favorite film is #3, Prisoner of Azkaban, because of the medieval vibe. The musical score has medieval instrumentation, and there are a lot of medieval touches throughout it, such as the ghost knights. I'm a sucker for the medieval.
     
  5. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I couldn't do a marathon because I don't own Order of the Phoenix. I really hated that one and even to complete the collection I can't quite convince myself to spend the money on it.

    I really liked all the others, though sometimes I feel like yelling "more story, less special effects!" at the screen. What can I say? I've always been more of a book person than a movie person.
     
  6. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the HP movie marathon.

    @tlbodine: Seven HP movies during a weekend? Wow, that's incredible. The movies feel somehow long and heavy to me, maybe because they are so full of details and information. I preferred the option to watch one movie a day, but perhaps I will try a super weekend HP marathon someday.

    @CupofJoe: Three days is also a pretty impressive time to watch the HP marathon. That is true, they blend together very well... Neville's moment is better in the movie than it is in the book, I loved that too.

    @Black Dragon: I'll try to appreciate the Medieval style the next time that I watch Prisoner of Azkaban. It's great that your little daughter loves these movies, does she like the books too? Maybe she is too young to appreciate the books, but I am sure that she will love them.

    @Mythopoet: I agree with you about Order of the Phoenix. I also did not want to spend money on that one and a few of the others, but I purchased the complete collection and it was very cheap after all. The marathon is worth it... My only complaint about the collection is that the first three DVDs are very old and so they come in 4:3 format, so maybe it's better to get the blurays instead.
     
  7. kayd_mon

    kayd_mon Sage

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    I'm odd in the fact that I've never gone online to discuss Harry Potter books or movies, despite being a big fan of both. Maybe that's why I'm confused why two people hate HP5 so much. It's a fun movie, and one of my favorites. The tone shift beginning in HP3 was the best thing to happen to the film series. HP1 and 2 were good, but they felt almost too much like an average family film. They were faithful to the books, they fell extremely stiff compared to the whole rest of the series.

    I refuse to consider HP7 and 8 as separate films, partly because I loathe thie whole marketing push to split adaptations into multiple films. Considering them one big film, I would say it's my favorite, but I honestly could watch any of them at any time and enjoy myself. I've done the marathon thing a few times - both my wife and I love Harry Potter.
     
  8. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Kayd mon, maybe we should have discussions more frequently about Harry Potter (both the books and the movies) in Mythic Scribes... there are a lot of HP fans in our community, I am sure that it would be a lot of fun.

    I do not hate Order of the Phoenix, it's just that I dislike it. I accept that it has great moments, like the sequence when Fred and George release all of their magical fireworks, and also the battle in the end was wonderful. Luna and Bellatrix were perfect, but it's not my favorite movie anyway.

    How long have you taken to complete the HP movie marathon??

    Also, I have an announcement for all HP fans in Mythic Scribes: I will start a thread about Pottermore very soon, so if you play Pottermore, we are going to have fun with that thread =)
     
  9. tlbodine

    tlbodine Troubadour

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    What I loved about OOTP is how incredibly political it is. I loved the way they handled Umbridge's regime and the parallels to modern fascism. I think that captured the obvious undercurrents of the books, like the obvious parallels between Voldemort and Hitler.

    What I loved about POA (the movie) is its quirky sense of humor and atmosphere. It had a little bit of grit mixed in with its magic. That sequence of the happy bird fluttering along and then getting swatted by the Whomping Willow cracks me up every time. It's so twisted and funny. Muppet-humor. Definitely my wheelhouse.

    We're all about the movie marathons in this house. You should see us when we settle in for the semi-annual LOTR extended edition marathon. That's always a day of good food and geeky revelry.
     
    Ireth likes this.
  10. kayd_mon

    kayd_mon Sage

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    We've done both a long weekend marathon and a film-a-night marathon. I like one per night, because it almost feels natural that way. We generally watch TV together for an hour or so before bed, and sometimes (especially over summer, when no shows are on) we watch movies instead.

    IMO, film marathons are fun altogether - Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR (can't wait until that marathon includes The Hobbit films!) Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Matrix... Yeah, I love marathons.
     
  11. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    @tlbodine: That is precisely what I don't like about Order of the Phoenix, apart from the general atmosphere and the poor illumination in many scenes. The Wizarding style of government reflects the real world governments a lot, and that can be seen clearly in both the book and the movie of Order of the Phoenix.

    The government refusing to accept the truth about Voldemort, discrediting Harry and Dumbledore, sending Umbridge to create a government influence on Hogwarts and prevent the students from learning how to defend themselves... It just makes me sick, really, and I would prefer to see a totally different style of governments in the Harry Potter world.

    That is why in my parody story Halley Wolffer the Wizarding countries are ruled by old-fashion Queens and royal families, which is more similar to the governments in my other Fantasy stories.

    It was the Ministry of Magic doing those things in Order of the Phoenix, not Voldemort.

    I see the parallels between Voldemort and Hitler more clearly in Deathly Hallows part 1, but in my opinion, the true Hitler of the Wizarding world was Gellert Grindelwald.
     
  12. taiwwa

    taiwwa Scribe

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    Like the books, the best movies were 3 and 4.

    But having read the books, I actually generally found the movies to be lackluster, pretty much the inevitable tie-in rather than anything original. Besides already knowing what happens, I generally found J.K. Rowling's description of magic to be much more enjoyable than watching...CGI...fly all over the screen.
     
  13. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    I've seen all the movies, like so many here. :p
    Me? I liked the first two both as lone movies and as representations of a great series. The third and fourth were okay, the most annoying part in the third was the talking head. It was funny at first, then it was annoying. They over-did the knight bus and, in my opinion, they did not structure the movie in a way that I felt the build-up was flat. Funny at times, but flat and it felt like the shortest one in the series. The fourth was a little better but again the story felt flat and short. The best scenes were; the dragon scenes (I LOVE DRAGONS!), and the face-off between Harry and Voldemort. And of course malfoy being turned into a ferret. :p

    Number five was my all time least favorite. It felt like half of the movie was built on the weird newspaper flipping, article/interview things and umbridge's rules and tyranny. That was just a sub-plot, true one of the larger sub-plots, but they exaggerated it so much that the true plot and the climax it lead to were a surprise. But yes, they found a perfect Luna Lovegood. :0

    Number 6 was a close relative to number 5. Mostly by a hiccuping plot line and bad lighting. I think with the lighting they were trying to foreshadow what was coming and show the gloomy atmosphere in Harry's world, in his life. True the book took a close look at the romantic angle of a witch and wizard's life but it was in harmony with Harry learning about Voldemort's life and discovering the horcruxes and such but they didn't go as deep into the horcruxes and voldemort as it should have. They left out two crucial flashbacks; The ministry person going to the cottage where Tom Riddle's mother and family lived where we see the locket. And when Dumbledore is headmaster and Voldemort comes to him for the job.

    The two installment of the last novel....oh boy. Like it's been said the first one was more on Voldemort's muggle-nazis. A good sized unnecessary chunk of it was wizard radio and the trio walking and sitting cross-country. Although they picked a great, cliff-hanger to end the first part on I think they could have done more in the first part. The second part was better, they were more focused on the story but they seemed to, in some parts, stretch it out some to fit the last part of the book into a reasonable time frame.

    So over all, Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets are my favorites. Just my opinion.
     
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  14. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    I'd seen the first three movies at odd intervals over the past few years, and a few bits and pieces of the later ones.

    But, about a month ago, the daughter and I watched all of them but the first over about a two week period. My observations...

    ...the magic door at the train station is cool, but why hide the door if the tracks are in plain sight?

    ...the wizards are heavily dependent on their wands. Seems to me if a knowledgeable 'muggle' wanted to level the playing field, stealing or destroying a wizards wand on the sly would be a very good place to start.

    ...one would have thought that having a building which changed its size (HQ for the Order of the Pheonix) would attract some attention both from frequent passerby's and the buildings occupants.

    ...what is it with the wizardly families dwelling mostly in weird isolated houses? And why would these be considered 'safe'? I'm remembering the wedding that got violently crashed in Deathly Hallows 1. That was supposed to be a 'safe house'.

    That said, I really liked the way the films tied together, especially Voldemorts 'soul objects' and exactly why Harry Potter was of such importance. I liked Snape a lot; most of the time in the first five movies, he seemed to be almost the sole adult wizard with any sense or a clue as to what was going on. I liked the interplay between him and Dumbledore, and sympathized with the position Dumbledore put Snape in the last movies. (And yes, I saw it coming.) Never did catch his name, but I also liked the short musician character at Hog Warts.
     
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  15. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    I also developed a great liking for Severus Snape in the later films, ThinkerX.

    Severus is one of the deepest and most admirable characters in the Harry Potter story, really. I was very surprised to learn his complete backstory and his true loyalty in the final book and movies, everything that happens to Severus is heartbreaking and I cry for him every time that I watch Deathly Hallows part 2.

    I like quoting Harry, when he speaks to his son all those years later: "You were named after two Headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin, and he was the bravest man I ever met."

    About the wands:

    The need of wands for casting Magic is indeed the greatest weakness of the HP Wizards and Witches. They can cast uncontrolled and spontaneous Magic without wands anyway, but in general they cannot even teleport properly without them.

    J.K. Rowling said that a Muggle with a gun would probably kill a Wizard because the gun is easier and faster to use, and I agree with that... but I believe that in a real war the Wizarding forces would easily destroy the Muggle world, simply by targeting the electric grids everywhere.

    The short musician character is Filius Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw House =)
     
  16. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    I've always liked the Potterverse wand concept. It says that most magic comes from being a magical animal or vegetable (or mineral), and even those humans with the gift barely qualify-- but what we humans are good at is taking literal pieces of other things and our knowledge of them, and controlling everything with them. (For better or worse, as Rawling also shows.)

    As for wizards vs guns, my money would be on a wizard who had a second to get a Protego up (and took the threat seriously), but that can be a big if. Or you can see more of that with the other Harry, Dresden-- or the movie Wizards.
     
  17. taiwwa

    taiwwa Scribe

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    I like the Potter magic system quite a bit, even though under scrutiny it doesn't quite hold up. But in literary impact, it basically is a way of expression strong emotion, which is what you want in story.

    By falling apart under scrutiny, I mean that in theory, you could just walk around saying "avada kadavra" and win every fight.

    Rowling has said in interviews that Snape was based off of a teacher she knew as a young child.
     
  18. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    @Wordwalker: I had never thought that way about the wands system in Harry Potter, that's a deeper and more interesting way to think about it. Maybe the same could be said about magic systems where the characters use magic staffs with a stone or a crystal on the top...

    @Taiwwa: The magic in HP is very much my favorite style of Magic: Mysterious, powerful and truly supernatural. I love magic systems capable of turning people into animals, producing liquid luck, creating a house inside of a camping tent and other similar things, in contrast to the more realistic styles that are frequent in other stories.

    I prefer the magic as it's described in the books, especially Avada Kedavra. I did not know that about Snape, thank you!
     
  19. The Maven

    The Maven Scribe

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    I don't know about others but I found some interesting surprises to the story like the mention of the vanishing cabinets etc when reading the series in the reverse order.
     
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